Microsoft unveiled its latest holiday offer on Tuesday, and it's one of the best Surface 3 deals on the market. For December 8 only, the company is giving away a free $75 Microsoft store gift card with every Surface 3 purchase from the online store.
The tablet launched in May and is the smaller brother of the Surface Pro, but that doesn't mean it's worth writing off. New models ship with Windows 10 installed, and the 10.8-inch Surface still retains the same headline features as a tablet that can replace a laptop, like full desktop app support.
Prices start at $499 for the 64GB model with 2GB of RAM, going up to $699 for the 128GB model with 4GB of RAM and 4G LTE connectivity. All models also come with a year's subscription to Office 365 Personal, which normally costs $69.99. At these prices, the Surface 3 is an ideal iPad alternative that doesn't require sacrificing the conveniences of a fully-fledged PC, like USB support and windowed applications.
Microsoft does not sell a Surface 3 bundle with the Surface Pen or the Type Cover. Both of these accessories must be bought separately, but to get the most out of the device it's well worth considering. The Surface Pen, which costs $49.99, allows users to write directly onto the screen.
The top of the pen has a button to immediately open OneNote for fast note-taking or drawing, while the two devices working together offer palm rejection technology. This means that the screen will not register input from a palm resting on it while in use.
The Type Cover, which clips on to the base of the machine, costs $129.99. This adds a full physical keyboard and trackpad, much like a standard laptop. It also doubles up as a screen protector for when the device is not in use.
The $75 gift card can be put towards either of the above accessories. Neither of them are necessary for daily use, but greatly enhance the experience and allow the device to fully live up to its laptop-replacing expectations.